Welcome to a special edition of the Coulda-Shoulda-Woulda Files, which normally looks at a song that was left by the airwaves’ wayside–today, we’re going to look at an album that didn’t quite hit the world’s pop-music sweet spot.
Artist: Swirl 360
Album: Ask Anybody, 1998
What happened: Swirl 360 was made up of a pair of pretty-boy brothers and a boatload of collaborators, and to hear them tell it, they were high on their label’s priority list until corporate politics pushed them down the food chain. The album’s one minor hit, the absurdly hooky “Hey Now Now,” was penned by the folks who brought you Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch”; the full-length can be yours for as low as a penny.
Why it should have been a hit: Rock critics like to throw around the term “perfect pop songs” a lot–heck, we’ve been guilty of that offense more times than we’d like to admit. The masterminds behind Ask Anybody decided to put that idea to the test, enlisting Fountains Of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger, The Posies’ Ken Stringfellow, and The Vaselines’ Eugene Kelly to pen some tracks. Did it work? Sort of. Of the four songs offered up by the critical heroes, we like the Schlesinger-written “Stick Around” the best; Stringfellow’s contribution, “Ask Anybody,” has some great moments, but its chorus teeters on the brink of WB themedom a bit too much for our liking.
Swirl 360 – Stick Around [MP3, link expired]
Swirl 360 – Ask Anybody [MP3, link expired]
Swirl 360 – I’ll Take My Chances [MP3, link expired]
Swirl 360 – Slow (Be There) [MP3, link expired]
Swirl 360 – Ask Anybody [Amazon]